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Celebs pay tribute to football's best man

March 16, 2006
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Famous faces from the worlds of sport and television gathered together in Manchester Cathedral on Thursday to pay tribute to one of the world's greatest sportsmen. England stars like Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand met up with George Best's friends and loved ones at a service in honour of the footballing legend, who passed away last November in London.

The athlete's ex-wife Alex was also in attendance, along with his model son Calum, who showed he had inherited his father's famous charm by chatting with fans and signing autographs outside.

Much like the iconic player's funeral in his native Belfast last year, Thursday's memorial service attracted huge numbers of fans. It was during his days as a forward with Manchester United that George was at his greatest, and an enormous crowd of the city's residents went along to watch the ceremony on a giant TV screen outside.

Small screen favourite James Nesbitt was the first to say a few words, with a series of the Northern Irish star's close friends taking their turns afterwards. When Sir Alex Ferguson stepped up to the podium, he asked everyone to remember that although the renowned footballer eventually lost his battle with alcoholism, he still had something to teach the aspiring talents of today.

"George Best had a lot of courage, both physical and mental," affirmed the United boss. "George was not afraid to show that courage and talent. Any young person who watched George must remember that – if you have talent, show it."

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Photo: ©
Calum shows an order of service card featuring a picture of his father in his heyday. After the ceremony the male model took time to chat with many of the fans who had gathered outsidePhoto: © Empicsy
Photo: ©
James Nesbitt, who was the first to take to the podium, said George was his boyhood heroPhoto: © Rex

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